The College Initiative
80 Monroe Avenue
Suite 610
Memphis TN 38103
Contact Information
Address 80 Monroe Avenue
Suite 610
Memphis, TN 38103
Telephone 901 210-5386
E-mail info@thecollegeinitiative.org
Mission Statement

The College Initiative provides college-capable high school students with the tools and mentorship they need to successfully apply to and succeed in college. The College Initiative forms partnerships with school districts, energetic teachers, and college student volunteers to ensure that every student aspiring to go to college will have the opportunity to do so.

Web and Social Media
Video
Students on a recent college tour
Other ways to Donate, Support, or Volunteer The College Initiative is eager to partner with community members who support equal access to higher education for youth in under-served communities. We welcome individuals, businesses, and community organizations who are interested in supporting our mission. For information on ways to donate, support, or volunteer with The College Initiative, contact us as info@thecollegeinitiative.org.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Gabriel Fotsing
Board Chair Mr. Wayne Culbreth
Board Chair Company Affiliation OpsFuel
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2012
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $2,250,000.00
Projected Expenses $2,250,000.00
Statements
Mission

The College Initiative provides college-capable high school students with the tools and mentorship they need to successfully apply to and succeed in college. The College Initiative forms partnerships with school districts, energetic teachers, and college student volunteers to ensure that every student aspiring to go to college will have the opportunity to do so.

Background The College Initiative started in 2010 when our Founder and CEO started his commitment with Teach For America in the Mississippi Delta region. He found that his students had the desire to go to college, but that they did not know how to make it happen. Upon further research, he found that a low-income student only gets 19 minutes of college guidance during his or her high school career. With this in mind, Gabriel Fotsing decided to start The College Initiative to level the playing field for low-income students. 
Impact
Over the past five years, The College Initiative (TCI) has grown from serving one school in 2012 to serving 15 high schools in the 2016-2017 school year, 7 of which are in Shelby County, TN. Recently, TCI expanded its programming to serve 9th - 12th grades so students can get an earlier start on college prep. Students who go through our program receive over 9000 minutes of personalized ACT/SAT test preparation, AP course preparation, financial aid consulting, and college application assistance. In 2015, 100% of our students were admitted to college, 75% of whom were first-generation college students. TCI Scholars score 40% higher on the ACT, are 12 times more likely to earn a college degree, and have earned over $15 million in scholarships and financial aid. This past school year (2015 - 2016), TCI had its first scholar receive the Gates Millennium Scholarship - one of the most prestigious scholarships a high school senior can earn. 
 

Needs
Our goal is to expand our outreach and core programming each year, with the ultimate goal of providing core programming to 15,000 high school students and our outreach programming to 150,000 high school students nationally by 2019. Our top priority is to procure funds for general operating support to allow us to train and hire program associates and support staff as we expand, closely followed by funds needed for direct service programs. In addition to these priorities, we anticipate the need for capital support to expand our offices, and for computers and telecommunications needs. 
 
The College Initiative is continually approached by school Principals, and Shelby County Schools employees, to offer our programming in high-needs schools. Our goal for the 2017 - 2018 school year is to add five to seven more high-needs schools, as identified by a district-wide assessment, to our Core Programming. To support this need alone will require an additional $150K - $200K to our general operating budget. 
CEO/Executive DirectorComments


Areas of Service
Areas Served
Area
TN - Shelby County
AR
MS
The College Initiative primarily serves Shelby County, TN, as well as counties in the Mississippi Delta region of Arkansas and Mississippi. Over the next three years, our programs will expand to serve 15,000 high school students in the most underrepresented counties in the Delta region.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Wayne Culbreth
Company Affiliation OpsFuel
Term Dec 2014 to Dec 2017
Board of Directors
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Mr. Brandon Arrindell Southeastern Asset Management
Mrs. Ashanta Blackwell Teach for America
Mr. Matthew Clair Harvard Dept. of Sociology
Mr. Wayne Culbreth OpsFuel
Mr. Gabriel Fotsing The College Initiative, Founder and CEO
Mrs. Diane Jalfon Memphis Library Foundation
Mr. Najee Johnson McKinsey & Company
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 5
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 2
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 1 Pakistani
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 5
Female 3
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 85
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Advisory Board Members
NameAffiliation
Mrs. Emily Breuker
Mr. Dan Lee
Mr. David Margines
Mr. Phil Morris
Mr. Jamie Neuwirth
Mrs. Emma Nothmann
Mrs. Nekpen Osuan
Mrs. Katherine Priore
Mrs. Heather Reams
Mrs. Christina Van Wert
Executive Director
Executive Director Mr. Gabriel Fotsing
Experience

Gabriel Fotsing has extensive experience in nonprofit management, fundraising, and academia. He taught Physical Science, French, AP Biology and ACT/SAT/GRE prep for four years. His most recent position was as a Corps Member with Teach For America in the Mississippi Delta. Gabriel has a B.A. in Economics with a secondary in French from Harvard University. He has served on several boards, including Harvard Student Agencies.

Staff
Full Time Staff 9
Part Time Staff 2
Volunteers 50
Contractors 0
Plans
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Date Strategic Plan Adopted 2015
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistleblower Policy Under Development
Document Destruction Policy Under Development
Comments
Foundation Comments
9/28/2016
Organization has not provided:
  • Fundraising Plan
  • Strategic Plan
  • Organization Policy and Procedure Plan
  • Nondiscrimination Policy 
Programs
Description
Comments
Foundation Comments
9/28/2016
Organization has not provided any programs. 
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Month Oct
Fiscal Year Start Year 2015
Fiscal Year End Month Sept
Fiscal Year End Year 2016
Projected Revenue $2,250,000.00
Projected Expenses $2,250,000.00
Form 990s
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments
Foundation Comments
9/28/2016
Organization has not provided:
  • 2015 Form 990
  • Most recent (past 3 yrs.) Audit/Financials
  • Charitable Solicitations permit
No Donations May Be Solicited Through This Profile At This Time 
Address 80 Monroe Avenue
Suite 610
Memphis, TN 38103
Primary Phone 901 210-5386
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Gabriel Fotsing
Board Chair Mr. Wayne Culbreth
Board Chair Company Affiliation OpsFuel

 

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